It was Friday the 13th, over 90 degrees in the shade, and I had to run around Ithaca all morning doing errands that could no longer be put off. By noon I was cranky and hot, but suddenly I remembered something that brought a smile to my face. The Community Arts Partnership was holding its annual Ithaca Artist Market at the Ithaca Farmers Market on the beautiful (and breezy!) Cayuga Lake Inlet. A perfect opportunity to spend money on something I actually wanted!
I hustled over there and just barely found a parking spot; it was already crowded. Luckily, the layout of the Market is such that you don’t feel like you’re packed into the venue and most of the people were great about distancing. It was exactly what I needed to end a busy week.
Art is loosely defined there, which is fine by me as my first purchase was three bottles of mushroom-infused vodka (adult stocking stuffers!) from Mushroom Spirits Distillery on Route 89 in Seneca Falls. With a slogan like “From Spore to Spirit” who could resist?
Not only do I enjoy seeing the displays of creativity, I’ve found that the artists of various ages and genres enjoy talking about their art as much as selling it. One of my more interesting stops was at BLCKBTS, clothing and accessories with a gossamer, cobweb-like texture. Artist Shannah Warwick told me she gathers many materials for her dyes in the woods and fields. One of her pieces that attracted me was shawl-like garment in goldenrod and black. She added that nunofelting instead of sewing allows her to sculpt her unusual handcrafted products.
After taking a short break to sit outside in the shade and watch the waterfront life go by, I browsed through a few more of the 80-plus booths. Just as I was about to call it quits, I heard someone call my name. It was old friends from Trumansburg, Eric and Sharon Nelson, and I was thrilled to hear that they’ve taken on a second careers during retirement. She’s a potter and he’s a woodworker and it was her work on display today. I was especially drawn to her use of color so I bought myself a gorgeous small bowl as a daily reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your passion!
My spontaneous visit ended up being a lucky one for me, the people I’ll be gifting, and for the local artisans I was able to support by paying for and then displaying their creations. Not bad for a day with a bad rep!